Meet the Winter Recipients of UBC’s 2023 Partnership Recognition and Exploration Fund 

Image provided by the “Imagining Multisensory Art: Literacy and Inclusion” project. Featuring blind writer and disability studies scholar Dr. Georgina Kleege (left) and non-visual social practice artist Carmen Papalia (right). Photo taken by Anita Bonnarens Photography.

This winter, Partnership Recognition and Exploration (PRE) funding was awarded to 15 community-university projects!  

From working with First Nations to restore land along the Fraser Watershed to combating ageism through theatre and performance, this winter’s projects showcase the diverse ways in which communities are partnering with UBC students, faculty, and staff on community initiatives.

One project, organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and UBC’s Research Excellence Cluster in Vision, convened vision science researchers, artists, librarians, and disability advocates for “Imagining Multisensory Art: Literacy and Inclusion.” This unique event, attended by UBC faculty, staff, students, community members with disabilities, and their allies, focused on experiencing art through descriptive language and tactile exploration.

Dr. Ruanne Lai from UBC’s Research Excellence Cluster in Vision shed light on the event’s significance, noting that “this exploration provided valuable insights into the experiences of individuals with visual and hearing impairments, both in their interaction with the artistic realm and in navigating the broader world. Complemented by access support by UBC’s Centre for Accessibility, the event showcased the potential for collaborative initiatives with UBC to be conceived with a strong commitment to universal inclusion.”

Katie McCallum from UBC Community Engagement also reflected on the event’s impact, extending her “deep thanks to the Vancouver Art Gallery and UBC’s Research Excellence Cluster in Vision for creating an afternoon for us all to experience art and accessibility on our own terms.” She expressed pride in how UBC Community Engagement was able to “support this particular moment in a long collaboration through both the Partnership Recognition and Exploration Fund and UBC Connects at Robson Square.”

The Partnership Recognition and Exploration Fund awards up to $1,500 to bridge small resource gaps, enabling community partners to forge reciprocal relationships with the university. Since 2017, the fund has invested more than $547,000 in 361 community-university partnerships, with approximately 50% of the funding supporting IBPOC-led community organizations. 

Learn more about these inspiring community-university partnerships below and join us in celebrating the PRE Fund’s newest recipients! 

2023 Winter Funded Projects 

Expo of Awesome 

  • Community Partner: Jo-Ann Coggan, STEAM Ecosystems BC 
  • UBC Partner | Staff: Rebecca McCullough, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan 

Click here to view the project description.  

This project description was provided by the project team on 9/21/2023. 

STEAM Ecosystems BC strives to accelerate the growth of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) literacy in British Columbia.  This is a collaborative network that brings multiple organizations together from various sectors such as industry, education, government, business and non-profits to provide learning resources in communities across BC.  Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WWEST) is an organization under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Jakobi, professor in HES Health and Social Development at UBCO, and is a collaborative partner with STEAM Ecosystems BC.   

These groups are looking to come together to host an Expo of Awesome at UBC Okanagan.  The pilot event, held on campus in May 2023, indicated that the lead up to hosting this event which brought approximately 500 youth, teachers, parents, and caregivers to campus, requires a high degree of planning and organization, in gathering participants, building a registration system, and facilitating the event. It is our hope that by WWEST and STEAM Ecosystems BC working together, we can at least double the number of sessions and organizations involved, and bring more than 1000 participants to the UBCO campus to spark curiosity, and celebrate STEM learning through a wide variety of hands-on STEAM activities.  

This funding will allow project partners to recruit more organizations in a timely manner within the STEAM Ecosystems BC network, and WWEST staff will be able to coordinate/make plans, build and monitor a registration system (last year’s filled in one hour) for hosting the Expo of Awesome at UBCO. 

Family Literacy in the Okanagan: Promoting Uptake of Family Literacy Kits to Meet the Literacy Needs of Diverse Learners and Their Families 

Click here to view the project description.  

This project description was provided by the project team on 9/2/2023. 

The overarching objective of this project is to enrich the home literacy environment for families with elementary-aged children (target grades 1-2) by way of a family resource literacy kit offered in partnership with the Okanagan Regional Library (ORL). The purpose of the literacy resource kits is to provide families with guidance on reading engagement approaches, to scaffold family-based literacy activities that promote family engagement activities (e.g., making connections between self and others, and self and the world), and to connect families across the 29 ORL branches with community-based resources.  

In collaboration with leadership and librarians at the Okanagan Regional Library, we have begun co-creating a set of family resource literacy kits addressing three themes: 1) Families, 2) Nature, and 3) Kindness. Each kit, comprised of books and literacy-rich activities, is intended to encourage and engage families in activities designed to foster the development of varied dimensions of literacy (e.g., prosody, phonology, vocabulary, comprehension). Promoting early literacy at home may have a long-term impact on a child’s future reading skills (e.g., Inoue et al., 2018) and educational achievement. Ultimately, we aim to 1) improve the accessibility of information to the public community about effective early literacy practices through knowledge translation (e.g., family activities, community session), and 2) increase the availability of resources through literacy kits including supporting family experiences with reading at home.  

We are applying for funds to support 1) the development and sustainability of the kits through the creation and purchase of materials that are part of the components within the literacy kits and, 2) to organize a public community event to support the uptake of the family literacy kits through family literacy sessions at a local library branch. Through this collaboration, ORL and Dr. Jessica Chan’s team will provide evidence-informed resources to families in the local community who attend the public library and offer a community-based session to families focused on early language and literacy development.  

ORL is a publicly accessible community space for families of all ages, and the development of the literacy kits aligns with their mission of providing resources to increasingly diverse communities in the Okanagan. Together, we will determine next steps of this partnership such as developing additional literacy kits that support families and students in older grades (e.g., Grade 2 and above), and plan for future opportunities including providing ongoing family literacy programming in the community and professional development for ORL staff. 

Imagining Multisensory Art: Literacy and Inclusion

Click here to view the project description.  

This project description was provided by the project team on 9/12/2023. 

This collaborative public dialogue between the UBC Research Excellence Cluster in Vision and the Vancouver Art Gallery will raise disability acceptance in the art world. This project recently received funding from UBC Connects. It will take place in-person at the UBC Robson Square in January 2024. After receiving the reviewers’ comments, we are applying for additional funding to assist with audio visual and accessibility support.  

This project will benefit both UBC and the Vancouver Art Gallery by showcasing disabled role models in the art world from both partners. Our UBC speakers are from the Departments of Theatre & Film (Dr. Stefan Sunandan Honisch), Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy (Dr. Laura Bulk), School of Information (Mx. Victoria Rahbar), and Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences (Dr. Ruanne Lai). Together, as faculty, staff, and trainees who all self-identify as living with disability including blindness, our team will have a public dialogue with world-renowned scholars and artists who promote multisensory art appreciation.  

The guest speakers are part of Vancouver Art Gallery’s network. They are Dr. Georgina Kleege from Berkeley and Vancouver non-visual participatory artist Carmen Papalia. Kleege and Papalia have previously worked together, and they will bring a vibrant, dynamic dialogue to our event. 

The works of Honisch and Bulk intersect with Kleege’s on their perspectives of Helen Keller, a Deafblind disability rights advocate, writer, and poet. Bulk will incorporate knowledge from her arts-based research and critical disability perspectives. Rahbar specializes in accessibility in art literature. Their lived experiences and expertise in the arts will create space for a dialogue with invited art scholar Kleege and interactive artist Papalia.  

The event will be in a large room featuring a speaker panel and large tables for participants to gather in groups. It will be spacious enough for wheelchair and service dog users. While the presenters are speaking, participants are encouraged to “create art while you listen”. Materials that encourage multisensory art and creative notes will be available for active engagement. Arts supplies, including blank paper, will be provided. While the basic accessibility principles identified in UBC’s Checklist for Accessible and Inclusive Event Planning document is a helpful starting point, we will work collaboratively with all participants to ensure that our event is maximally accessible; should conflicting access needs emerge between one or more participants, we will bring the same collaborative spirit to bear, ensuring that different needs are not addressed in hierarchical fashion, but rather supported in flexible and respectful ways. 

Increasing Knowledge of Cardiogenetics Care Pathways and Patient Support Amongst Canadian Healthcare Providers 

Click here to view the project description.  

This project description was provided by the project team on 9/5/2023. 

The Hearts in Rhythm Organization (HiRO) is a network of clinicians, researchers, patients and families dedicated to the prevention of sudden cardiac death from inherited cardiac conditions (ICCs). This national organization is led by Dr. Andrew Krahn at UBC in collaboration with 24 specialized cardiogenetics centers across Canada, including the BC Inherited Arrhythmia Program (BCIAP) located at St. Paul’s Hospital. HiRO clinics across Canada play an important role in the diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care of families with ICC conditions. However, there is limited awareness amongst the general healthcare community about the existence of these speciality clinics and when a referral is indicated. 

The Canadian SADS Foundation is a patient advocacy organization, striving for increased awareness and improved care for patients and families with inherited cardiac conditions. Through their patient support network, the organization frequently hears from families who face barriers to being referred to a specialty ICC clinic. Increasing awareness of the warning signs of ICCs and availability of speciality clinics in Canada is of utmost importance, given the risk of sudden cardiac death for those who are undiagnosed. 

The purpose of this project is to establish a joint exhibitor booth at the Vascular 2023 cardiology conference. This collaboration between the Hearts in Rhythm Organization (HiRO) and the Canadian SADS Foundation aims to educate the broader medical community about the availability of speciality clinics and resources in Canada, leading to increased referrals, earlier diagnosis and improved care for affected individuals and their families. The exhibitor booth will be run by representatives of both HiRO and Canadian SADS Foundation, and include distribution of materials, such as a map and contact information of all specialty ICC clinics in Canada, visuals about the ICC warning signs and referral indications to clinics, and patient education and support resources. As a booth exhibitor, representatives from the Canadian SADS Foundation will also be able to participate in the conference, contributing the crucial patient voice to scientific and health policy discussions and enabling networking opportunities. 

The Canadian Vascular conference takes place every ten years and presents an unparalleled opportunity to raise awareness of ICC care and patient support options amongst Canadian healthcare providers. By partnering the national clinical research and patient advocacy teams together, we aim to collectively make a substantial impact on improving awareness of speciality care for families with ICCs in Canada. 

Kelowna Tree Protectors – Community Educational Resources and Workshops 

  • Community Partner: Beverly Kalmakoff, Kelowna Tree Protectors 
  • UBC Partner | Student: Robin Metcalfe, College of Graduate Studies, UBC Okanagan  

Click here to view the project description.  

This project description was provided by the project team on 10/25/2023. 

Community member inquiries and ongoing dialogue processes with local groups and the City of Kelowna Environmental Coordinator have identified educational needs and resource gaps that we will address through our partnership activities. There is an identified lack of knowledge and awareness about tree care and about tree selection and placement.  

Planned Activities – Workshop Development and Delivery: Tree care, Tree Selection and Placement:

Our community priorities include addressing the need for training that considers the inevitable changes regarding water usage, stormwater management, and retention of shared outdoor areas that provide function & aesthetics. We also hope to develop and deliver training that is adapted to the specific identified knowledge needs for tree care, tree selection, and placement. We have identified our key workshop audiences, which are comprised of Strata members, condo residents, LandscapeCARE Service Providers (Xeriscape / Fire Smart / Climate Resilient / Arborists), private homeowners and community members. 

Tangible Outcomes: 

We aim to collaboratively develop and deliver training designed as a series of 3 half-day workshops. The content of these workshops will cover tree care, retention, and selection considerations including tree and development/landscape-related bylaws and permits, specific training for turf areas that are not performing well, site assessment including tree health, recognition of the value of good planting and maintenance, tree selection criteria and recommendations and budget related adjustments with xeriscape (climate resistant) and fire safe considerations. By participating in the workshops, participants will be better prepared to: value tree retention alongside needed urban development as central to community inclusion and wellbeing, understand site assessment processes for determining planting spaces for trees, complete the outdoor site assessment application, identify most suitable trees, using tree selection recommendations that are specific to site features, geographic/climatic location, and available resources for care, undertake tree care, including for boulevard trees and trees in shared spaces, and best practices for irrigation/watering with the right amount at the right time, recognize indicators of tree health, and connect with and direct people to the networks of professionals and community organizations engaged in landscape care. 

Additionally, by co-developing and hosting the workshops, KTP and collaborators will strengthen collaborative relationships, identify follow-on ways of continuing collaborative process and engagement on shared commitments to sustainability and community wellbeing, build momentum in community participation in urban (forest and community) planning and community care, and learn with community members about what kinds of additional dimensions of engagement is desired and how community members may want to be involved in facilitation and related initiatives. 

Quality Research to Support Quality Digital Health Care Policy for the Underserved: What Needs to Happen to Translate Evidence into Policy? 

  • Community Partner: Alex Haagaard, Community-Based Researcher 
  • UBC Partner | Faculty: Clare Ardern, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, UBC Vancouver 

Click here to view the project description.  

This project description was provided by the project team on 9/13/2023. 

PRE funding will support our patient engagement in research writing project. Alex and Clare are co-leading a research paper called ‘Quality research to support quality digital health care policy for the underserved: what needs to happen to translate evidence into policy?’. Alex is bringing expertise as a person with lived experience, disability advocate and digital health designer. 

The Essential Digital Health for the Underserved (EDH4U) team is a group of more than 30 people—patient partners, clinicians, policy makers and researchers, led by UBC Professor Kendall Ho—who represent community health organizations (including First Nations Health Authority, Rural Coordination Centre of BC), Government agencies (including Canada Health Infoway, Healthcare Excellence Canada, Canadian Institute for Health information, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)) and health care service providers and users. We gathered formally in May 2023, ahead of the TEC2023 conference in Vancouver to discuss how to help Canada make progress on digital health for the underserved. During the meeting, our collaborative committed to writing 10 papers specifically for policy makers, which we will publish in a special issue of the journal HeathcarePapers in early 2024. Our objective is to get current information into the hands of Canadian policy makers who are making decisions today about policies that affect access to health care for underserved communities. 

Eight out of the 10 papers in the EDH4U special issue have patient partners from underserved communities contributing as co-leaders, co-writers or reviewers. This funding will serve to recognize and appropriately acknowledge the contributions of community expertise and time to the EDH4U project. Having a community member participate in the project ensures perspectives of people with lived experience are authentically conveyed to policy makers who make decisions about how digital health services are designed, implemented, and evaluated to better support people from underserved communities to access the health care they need, when and where they need it. 

Red Fox ASSET Participant Support Project 

Click here to view the project description. 

This project description was provided by the project team on 9/21/2023. 

This project will entail promoting the ASSETS study to former and current Red Fox Healthy Living Society participants of our youth employment training programs. This will also support their engagement with the ASSETS program to assist the BC Centre for Disease Control’s goals and objectives of the ASSETS program. Red Fox launched in 2006, and given that staff have remained in contact with many past participants, there will be opportunities to interview many individuals. Some participants of Red Fox participated in our youth programs over many years, with some even becoming staff members. This length of engagement and the diversity of the Red Fox participants – Indigenous youth, racialized and newcomer youth, neuro-diverse youth and youth living on low incomes – will provide ASSET with valuable data. RedFox staff members will provide a range of supports over many weeks to ensure potential interviewees feel comfortable and are therefore more likely to participate in the study. Red Fox will benefit from the ASSET data as it can be used to improve our programs, share our best practices with others and prove our impact in grant applications. Ultimately, the project will strengthen our organization and enable us to support more individuals to gain long-term employment. In 2020, Red Fox launched a new full-time, paid youth internship program funded by ESDC-Canada as part of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. Over the last four years, 58 young adults (all now 19+) have participated in the program and 54 have completed it. Over 22 weeks, youth were trained and mentored to gain the skills and experience to work in recreation, childcare, and the non-profit field in general. For individuals who have experienced trauma and neglect – personal, generational and institutional – work in these fields can be nurturing and healing. The skills they already possess – enthusiasm, caring and adaptability – make them ideal candidates for this work and the non-profit field in general is more understanding and accommodating to the needs of individuals who face multiple barriers.  

Red Fox has collaborated with UBC for many years, participating in many student projects with the Kinesiology department. We have connected Elders to the department. We have also worked with the Centre for Community Engaged Learning for many years and have hosted UBC interns through the Work-Learn program. 

The project will connect Red Fox staff as well as former and current Red Fox participants (community members) to the ASSETS team of researchers over several months. The participants as well as the Red Fox staff team (most of whom are members of the communities we serve) will get to know the ASSETS researchers and other staff and faculty members. Trust and rapport will develop and this will lead to new opportunities for Red Fox and participants to learn about other UBC research, teaching and learning. 

Funds from PRE will help Red Fox support their participants who experience many employment barriers to engage with the research study by informing them about the research study and supporting appointment attendance. A reciprocal community engaged relationship will be fostered between Red Fox and ASSETS as the Study will be able to share data from their circular data platform with Red Fox helping them improve their services and support funding efforts. 

Riparian Restoration and the Foodlands Corridor Project — Knowledge Sharing with Rivershed Society of BC 

  • Community Partner: Emily Pearson, Rivershed Society of BC  
  • UBC Partner | Faculty: Juli Carrillo, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, UBC Vancouver 

Click here to view the project description.  

This project description was provided by the project team on 9/20/23. 

The Rivershed Society of BC (Rivershed) has been leading transformative efforts for riparian restoration through their Foodlands Corridor Restoration Program (Foodlands), with important social and ecological benefits. Foodlands centres a decolonized approach to restoration and has been engaged in highly collaborative and co-developed projects with First Nations, Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, and agricultural land holders, including along the sc̓e:ɬxʷəy̓əm (Salmon River) Corridor.  

PRE funds will  support a field site visit and a lunch and learn with Rivershed to facilitate knowledge sharing and partnership development with a multi-university (UBC, SFU, KPU, UFV) and multi-partner research team focused on restoration pathways for perennial plantings. 

Salon Expo Carrières 2024 l Career Fair 2024 

Click here to view the project description. 

This project description was provided by the project team on 8/30/2023. 

The Salon Expo Carrières 2024 is a dynamic event that brings together professionals, students, businesses, institutions, and organizations from various sectors. The primary objective is to present career and employment opportunities in French. Attendees can explore various fields, engage in discussions with industry experts, and understand potential avenues for professional growth. The event also offers a valuable opportunity to connect with Francophone organizations in the province, providing attendees a chance to establish relationships and engage with stakeholders in the Francophone professional community. 

The Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique (SDECB) leads this initiative, collaborating with partners including the Centre de la Francophonie (CDLF) of the University of British Columbia, the Bureau des affaires francophones et francophiles (BAFF) of Simon Fraser University, and the BC Francophone Federation. This collaborative effort aims to leverage collective strengths, creating a unified platform during March, the month for Francophonie. 

 The event is set to feature about 20 employers offering professional opportunities in French, along with five organizations providing French services at dedicated booths. SDECB will host conferences on career prospects, interview tips, community needs, and what it means being a professional in a Francophone environment, particularly in BC. SFU and UBC will showcase their booths, presenting post-secondary programs and vocational training in French to engage the Francophone community. The event expects around 200 participants, primarily post-secondary students, youth, and Francophone community members. 

This event provides an opportunity to showcase collective solidarity in advocating for the importance of Francophonie and the French language, especially in a minority context. The aim is to foster mutual support and address significant issues, such as the province-wide shortage of French-proficient human resources, notably in Education. The Salon Expo Carrières 2024 bridges the gap between key stakeholders and potential educators, facilitating connections and opportunities for aspiring teachers to engage with professionals. 

Furthermore, the event offers a valuable opportunity for companies seeking French-proficient talent. This platform provides a direct interface for entities to connect with potential candidates, streamlining recruitment and facilitating immediate interactions with promising candidates. 

#SeniorMoment TikTok Series 

Click here to view the project description.  

This project description was provided by the project team on 8/11/2023. 

Western Gold Theatre is one of just two professional theatre companies in Canada solely devoted to supporting senior artists (55+). It has been doing important cultural work raising awareness of ageism and ableism and countering them through theatre and performance. The company has planned a new play festival that will take place in September-October, 2023.  

Submissions were accepted from older adult playwrights and were reviewed by a panel of judges who will select 4-5 to be workshopped by professional actors and performed as staged readings at a new “Have a Senior Moment Festival.” The festival takes the ageist notion of a “senior moment” (normally understood as a moment of forgetfulness, a foolish mistake, or a lack of understanding based on age) – and reclaims the term to mean a moment showing older adults living their lives in richness, fullness, and relationship with their communities and environments.  

This proposed project will produce a series of “Senior Moment” TikTok videos (using #SeniorMoment) to begin reclaiming this term (in the hopes it will go viral) and help build excitement about the festival. Each TikTok will involve an older adult content creator sharing a meaningful moment of their life which represents older age in a non-ageist manner. For example, the TikToks may showcase an interest or talent, an important relationship, or may represent older adults as creative, inspiring, funny, etc.  

The project will engage 10 older adult content creators; these will be drawn from the Vancouver professional theatre community for several reasons: (1) this is the community Western Gold works with (2) it provides an opportunity to older adult theatre professionals (who often lack opportunity) to be creative (3) based on their TikToks, some content-creators will be invited to give short performances alongside the plays at the festival.  

Each older adult content creator will be paired with a student technology facilitator.  These student content creators can be from any program (aged 16 to 25). PRE funds will support a project coordinator at Western Gold Theatre, to handle recruitment and agreements, pair Content Creators and Technology Facilitators, provide instruction and support, upload content, and promote the content on social media. 

The WRAP Youth Clinic: Expanding our Current Community Partnership to Meet the Identified Needs of an Underserved Population 

Click here to view the project description.  

This project description was provided by the project team on 10/18/23. 

The PRE Fund will be used to host a collaborative workshop with our community partners, the Surrey Wraparound Program. There will be approximately 10 members from both the Adolescent Medicine Division (physicians, clinic nurse, learners) and Surrey Wraparound Program (teachers, social workers, youth support workers) in attendance. The goals of this workshop include strengthening our healthcare-community partnership, creating shared learning opportunities, and collaborating on the development of a future grant proposal to support expanding our partnership to better meet the needs of the youth in this program. These youth are unique in that they experience complex medical and psychosocial histories, intergenerational trauma, and the effects of marginalization, racism, and discrimination. They previously remained unconnected to healthcare and our teams’ goal has been to improve this. 

Over the last year, our teams have met to discuss our vision for the WRAP Youth Clinic. While these meetings have generated ideas and strengthened our relationship, we are often left feeling that we need more time for discussion and planning. By bringing the teams together for educational opportunities, networking, and meaningful discussions, we can create stronger, supportive relationships as we discuss the challenges the youth face and how to best meet their needs. 

The morning workshop session will consist of brief teaching sessions from each group on requested topics. The community team will teach about the history of gang involvement, how to support someone in this situation, and barriers the youth face in accessing care. The healthcare team will teach about mental health and substance use disorders, coping techniques, and available resources in the community. By addressing our respective educational gaps, we will be better able to align as a team and support the youth. 

Given how valuable our partnership has been, we see great benefit in expanding to include additional partners, such as Foundry, Youth Clinic, and Child & Youth Mental Health. The afternoon session will consist of brainstorming activities, idea generation, and group planning for a future grant proposal (i.e., CUES) to support a more expansive workshop with a focus on networking, educational sessions, and planning for the future of the WRAP Youth Clinic, in the context of a larger partnership with additional supports and resources. 

By the end of our workshop, we hope to feel more empowered and connected in our partnership, experience positive learning opportunities, and develop a plan for a future grant proposal focused on expanding our partnership to better meet the needs of youth. 

UBC Legion Creating Veteran Friendly Campus Community 

Click here to view the project description.  

This project description was provided by the project team on 9/7/2023. 

We aim to explore a partnership between UBC and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch at UBC Campus (“UBC Legion”). UBC has a long history with the Canadian Armed Forces with many past and active serving students, staff, and faculty. Support from the PRE fund will  help us  build on our existing relationship with the UBC Institute for Veterans Education and Transition(“IVET”) to support military-associated individuals and families on the Vancouver campus. 

Our partnership aims to fill a significant need in supporting the veteran and military-connected community at UBC, a demographic that faces unique challenges such as social isolation, difficulty in academic transition, and specific emotional needs. While the UBC Institute for Veterans Education and Transition (IVET) provides some level of support, our initiative adds a layer of community building that’s currently lacking. 

We plan to host a series of events to bring together our military-connected community to learn more about our unique branch at a major academic centre. The events we are planning will not only serve as a meeting ground but will also serve as informational sessions. We will invite professors and researchers who are working on military and veteran-related subjects to share their findings. Our guest speakers range from the IVET Program, academic partners, senior military leadership, civilian liaisons, and more. This will create a bridge between the academic community and the veterans, offering them better access to ongoing research and academic resources at UBC. 

Vision Research Knowledge Translation Roundtable 

Click here to view the project description.  

This project description was provided by the project team on 9/22/2023. 

In April 2024, members of the Research Excellence Cluster in Vision or “Vision Cluster” will participate at Fighting Blindness Canada (FBC)’s in-person public education event—View Point in Vancouver, British Columbia. View Point brings together a collaborative network of leading researchers and professionals in the field of vision research, demonstrating commitment to advancing research on blinding eye diseases. This event, designed to bridge the gap between scientific research and the broader community, will welcome a diverse audience, including patients and caregivers. 

Attendees will gain firsthand knowledge about the progress being made in these critical areas of vision research. Additionally, they will have the chance to ask questions, share personal experiences, and connect with the researchers, fostering a sense of community and collaboration. The presence of patients and caregivers will add a human touch to the scientific discussions, highlighting the real-world impact of vision researchers. 

Vision Cluster members will play pivotal roles in the event, contributing their expertise to disseminate valuable information. There will be opportunities for Vision Cluster trainees to volunteer and engage with knowledge users—the people who their research is affected by. View Point will not only be an education event, raising awareness about inherited retinal diseases and age-related macular degeneration, but will also foster a sense of hope and unity in the pursuit of solutions for those affected by blindness and visual impairment. 

This is also a unique opportunity for the Vision Cluster to meet face-to-face with FBC’s leadership team. As FBC is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario this event is an ideal opportunity to find shared goals and synergies for future collaborations. The anticipated outcomes of this event extend to fostering closer connections within the vision research community, benefiting researchers, community partners, and patients.  

Youth Self Care and Wellness Night 

  • Community Partner: Cory Kaban, Covenant House Vancouver 
  • UBC Partner | Faculty: Tristan Lai, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC Vancouver 

Click here to view the project description.  

This project description was provided by the project team on 10/16/2023. 

Covenant House Vancouver (CHV) is a trauma-informed agency that serves youth experiencing homelessness and protects youth in need. With the support of the UBC Partnership Recognition and Exploration Fund, CHV plans to hold a wellness night for youth and young adults in collaboration with the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.  

Youths have told us that practicing self-care is particularly challenging for people living with housing insecurity. We know that self-care empowers individuals to actively manage their health and contributes to their wellbeing. This project serves as a pilot to provide personal care and wellness tools to our clients. We will bring in local hair stylists and nail technicians so that our residents can engage in a wellness program of choice. We will also invite a dietician to provide smoothies whilst educating youth on the benefits and ease of preparing a nutrient-dense meal.  

UBC pharmacy students will support the event by leveraging their knowledge to create wellness plan templates that will be customized and shared with event attendees. They will support us in developing a post-event evaluation survey questionnaire to gain insights on participants’ perception of the event and helps guide future planning. The intent behind this event is to generate dialogues about healthy living and to provide youth the opportunity to access low-barrier self-care programs. 

What Happens When Theatre Migrates? 

Click here to view the project description.  

This project description was provided by the project team on 9/19/2023. 

In this project, we situate theatre as a method of community partnership that employs performance as a lens of understanding our complex migratory histories in Canada. This UBC – National Pilipino Canadian Cultural Center (NPC3) gathers Filipino and Filipino Canadian scholars and artists on a two-pronged activity that aims to critically engage the community of Filipino artists in Canada particularly those who are in the performing arts (theatre, dance, music) in tackling the current issues around settler colonialism, identity formation, and community building.  

In line with this goal, a Zoom lecture-conversation, entitled, “Ha pano yun: What happens when theatre migrates?” will be organized with scholars of Philippine migration and Migration Theatre from Canada and the Philippines as speakers. This event will be followed by an in-person workshop on Philippine migration theatre. Both events will reflect on the shifting perspectives on location, identities, advocacies, and relations pertinent to the transitory and liminal migrant experiences of Filipino/a/x living in Canada.  

This partnership grant will propel the current theatrical project, Ma(i)d(e) in the Philippines that reconstructs the classical play of Jean Genet’s The Maid to complicate migration through an analytic thematization of servitude, servanthood and slavery. By exploring the current migration histories of Filipinos in Canada (particularly the queer communities) and the imminent challenges post by climate crises we deploy performance as a tool for critical and creative knowledge making within the diasporic communities in Vancouver. Through the artistic leadership of Filipino theatre director and Assistant Professor of Theatre and Film at the University of Winnipeg, Dr. Dennis Gupa and mentorship of Boca del Lupo, this play envisions a Pan-Canadian theatrical creation and circulation within and beyond Canada.  

This grant will help seed the next production activities of the project that will inform its intellectual direction. Our aim is to tour this project in various cities in Canada with huge concentration of Filipino (im)migrants and in the Philippines as well as Europe and Middle East where many Filipinos work as migrants. While Filipino immigrants continue to contend with geographical dislocation, racial minoritization, and cultural disfranchisement within the professional Canadian theatre ecology, this project gives agency and voice to the Filipino Canadian artists

Want to learn more about any of the 2023 PRE Fund projects?

Contact our Fund Manager Shayla Walker (